Hanft said for years he has informally given guidance to in-house counsel and general counsel and this kind of work is what he likes to do.
“Over the years I’ve worked with GCs in an informal capacity and now I am a full-time mediator and arbitrator. This is consistent with the work I like to do,” Hanft said. “I’ve walked in the shoes of the current general counsel.”
Managing partner of BarkerGilmore, Robert Barker, said in the press release announcing Hanft’s hiring that Hanft is considered one of the “most outstanding global corporate legal executives of his generation.”
“With his proven business expertise and success in creating and delivering enhanced solutions and exceptional results, he will be invaluable to BarkerGilmore by helping clients optimize their organizations and drive revenue,” Barker said in the press release.
Hanft said one issue he sees with general counsel who have not worked in-house before is that they have to find better ways to partner with the business.
“I think we all strive to be really strong business partners to the company in addition,” Hanft said of general counsel. “I think folks who come into the general counsel role, especially those who have not worked in-house, have a different perspective on lawyering.”
Hanft joined MasterCard in 1984 and became general counsel in 2001. He served as the general counsel at MasterCard from 2001 to 2014. He has also worked in-house as assistant general counsel at AT&T Universal Card Services.
In June, Hanft and Richard Ziegler, the former general counsel at 3M, launched an alternative dispute resolution service firm called AcumenADR. Hanft said Tuesday that he is still a part of the firm. He is based in New York.